Shillong, Mar 24: Meghalaya need five more wickets to defeat Sikkim in their Col CK Nayudu Trophy plate group match when play resumes tomorrow but only have 58 runs to defend.
The evenly-poised match in Bhubaneshwar saw Meghalaya get bowled out for 248 in their second innings on the third day today, which set Sikkim (who had taken a 14-run first innings lead) 235 to win.
At stumps, Sikkim were on 176/5 and have a slight edge over Meghalaya going into the fourth and final day tomorrow.
Today, resuming on 133/3, Meghalaya added a further 115 runs to their overnight score. Having reached 55 not out yesterday, Arien Bonchang Sangma went on to be dismissed for a fine 83. He and Joydeepan Deb (70, 7x4s, 2x6s) made 57 in partnership for the fourth wicket but there were not many batters who could stay at the crease for long after that and Meghalaya lost their last seven wickets for 58 runs.
Having set their opponents a challenging target, Meghalaya started well with the ball thanks to a brace by Bipin Kumar Ray (2/56) that left Sikkim on 34/2. However, two half-century partnerships rescued Sikkim, though Meghalaya’s Sudhir Sahani did strike periodically to finish the day on 3/45.
At the crease for Sikkim are Ankur and Jeetendra. The former has batted aggressively for his 56 not out off 41 deliveries and Meghalaya will need to dismiss him early tomorrow if they want to convert their chance of victory into reality.